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Terror suspect made use of modified weapon in mosque attack | Coastweek

CHRISTCHURCH New Zealand (Xinhua) -- The site of the terrorist attacks is sealed off in Christchurch, New Zealand. Bunches of flowers are presented near the site of the terrorist attacks on March 16, 2019. Gunmen opened fire in two separate mosques in Christchurch on Friday, killing 49 people and wounding 48 others. XINHUA PHOTOS - LU HUAIQIAN

New Zealand Prime Minister says terror suspect
made use of modified weapon in mosque attack

CHRISTCHURCH New Zealand (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that the suspect of the deadly mosque attacks used modified semi-automatic weapons.

She told a press conference in Wellington that there were still 39 people in hospital, 11 of whom in critical conditions.

The prime minister said the two police officers who arrested Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man, deserved plaudits for their bravery.

Tarrant was charged with murder Saturday morning.

The terrorist attack left 49 dead and 48 people wounded in two Christchurch mosques.

Tarrant was apprehended along with two other Australian men.

Earlier in the day, Ardern said the country’s gun law would be changed.

"Our gun law will be changed" said Ardern, noting that the killers had legitimate gun license.

Five guns were discovered, two of which were semi-automatic guns, she said.

Other weapons and firearms were also retrieved by the police after the attacks on Friday.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel on Saturday extended her condolences to the victims and their families and people who are affected by the attacks.

"Our thoughts go to the victims and their families and everyone that being affect," Dalziel told Xinhua, calling the event "an unspeakable tragedy." She also acknowledged the extraordinary response from the police and first responders.

"An attack on the Muslin community is an attack on us, on Christchurch and on New Zealand," Dalziel said.

She believed that Christchurch people will go through this together by "looking after each other ... in many diverse communities in our city."

"We need to make sure that everyone feels safe, and everyone feels welcome and everyone feels a part of the city," the mayor said.

Major public events during the weekend have all been cancelled across New Zealand after the attacks.
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 UPDATES:

Australian leaders expresses "shock, grief"
at New Zealand mosque attacks tragedy

SYDNEY Australia (Xinhua) -- Australia’s leaders have expressed shock and grief at Friday’s deadly shootings in Christchurch, offering condolences to New Zealanders.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that one of the perpetrators was born in Australia and described the incident as a "vicious and callous, right-wing extremist attack."

"I can confirm that the individual who was taken into custody I have been advised is an Australian-born citizen," Morrison said.

The man has been identified as 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, who worked as a personal trainer in Grafton in the State of New South Wales (NSW) between 2009 and 2011, before leaving the country to travel in Asia and Europe.

The manager of the gym where Tarrant worked, Tracey Gray, told Australia’s national broadcaster that at the time he did not seem like he had an interest in firearms.

"He was a very dedicated personal trainer," she said,

"He worked in our program that offered free training to kids in the community, and he was very passionate about that."

"I think something must have changed in him during the years he spent travelling overseas."

Representing Australia’s Muslim community, Bilal Rauf from the Imams Council said that there was a sense of anger regarding the attack, as well as concern for the safety of those attending mosques.

"There is a sense of outrage, concern, and, yes, a concern about safety," he said.

"A concern about safety that someone could so readily walk into a place of worship where defenceless people were there together worshipping God with their children, with their wives, with their family members and they were mercilessly gunned down."

Police commissioner of the state where Tarrant lived has condemned "right-wing extremism" and is considering assigning extra resources to help combat it.

"We have arrested right-wing extremists in this state. We have criminal orders against right-wing extremists. We take it seriously," NSW police commissioner Michael Fuller said.

"We know that in some western countries it is an emerging risk and we’re certainly looking at it closely."

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has extended his sympathies to all those affected in a speech to the Islamic Council in the State of Victoria.

"It was an Australian who did this, but this is not an Australian who represents Australia," he said.

He said that the majority of Australians felt "impotent, outraged, disgusted, ashamed."

"There are...millions of Australians who feel solidarity with you today."

"Now is the time to repudiate once and for all not just the violence, but the circumstances, the hate speech, that fuels the violence."
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Horror haunted Bangladesh cricket team says "We still love New Zealand"

by Lu Huaiqian CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Xinhua) -- The horror haunted Bangladeshi national cricket team said on Saturday "We still love New Zealand" while checking in their flight to go home at the Christchurch International Airport.

The Bangladesh cricket team narrowly escaped Friday’s terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

Now the team just wants to go home to unite with their families.

The team had gone to the Al Noor Mosque for Friday prayer in the afternoon, where the shooting spree began minutes earlier.

The whole team escaped the scene and rushed back to the hotel, feeling frightened and frustrated.

They were due to play with New Zealand’s Black Caps near Hagley Park, located in the area where the mass shooting took place.

The test match has been called off after the terror attacks.

The attacks in two mosques in central Christchurch have killed at least 49 people and injured 48 others.

New Zealand Cricket CEO David White has announced that the game between New Zealand and Bangladesh had been called off as a result of the attacks.

The guest team arrived at the Christchurch International Airport on Saturday, checking in the morning flight back home.

At the Singapore Airlines check-in counter, players of the Bangladesh cricket team all looked serious and edgy.

They were queuing to have their luggage checked, looking around constantly to confirm safety.

The Christchurch International Airport has upgraded its security with at least three heavily armed policemen at the departure terminal and several aviation security personnel standing by.

Seemingly to be the last player to get onboard the plane, Mushfiqur Rahim was interviewed by Xinhua News Agency.

He offered his sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the terror attacks. He still felt surreal to encounter such impossible attacks.

As a sportsman who had previously been to New Zealand, he still held the view that "New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world."

"We still love New Zealand," he added.

Asked whether the team had been offered support to cope with the massive shooting, Rahim said they considered themselves lucky enough to escape.

"They were happy to be alive" although a sense of horror still haunted some.

All the Bangladesh national cricket team players were escorted by heavily armed New Zealand police with loaded sub-machine guns to the entrance gate of the airport. Due to the lack of direct flights between New Zealand and Bangladesh, the team will need to transfer in Singapore to go home.

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 EARLIER REPORTS:

Terror suspect in New Zealand Christchurch mosques
attack appears in court with heightened security

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Xinhua) -- A 28-year-old Australian man charged with murder appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Saturday morning following Friday’s terror attacks on two mosques in the city.

The attacks in two mosques in central Christchurch killed at least 49 people and injured 48 others.

Brenton Tarrant, in white prison suit, barefooted, handcuffed and flanked by two armed police officers, made a brief appearance in the court for about five minutes.

Tarrant, who was not granted name suppression, smirked to the camera of the media dock and frequently scanned the court room which was closed to the public.

The charging document showed the maximum penalty will be life imprisonment.

He will be in custody until April 5, according to the High Court in Christchurch.

Tarrant’s occupation was not given on the charging document, and his address was provided as a place in Dunedin, more than 300 km south of Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island.

The judge briefed the media before the hearing, saying videos and photographs were only released by approved New Zealand media outlets including TVNZ and RNZ.

International media were packed outside the court before the hearing, along with heavily armed police and security staff.

Meanwhile, outside the court, major roads in the city center are cordoned off with heavy armed police officers on duty. Vehicles are prohibited, but people can walk closer to the mosques where the shooting happened on Friday.

From time to time people outside the cordon came to place flowers under a tree to express their condolences to the victims.

A disabled man on crutches, accompanied by a lady with flowers in her hands, was also seen come to the spot.

Several women sobbed silently.

Four New Zealand women hugged each other outside the cordon.

One of the women told Xinhua "No matter what cultural backgrounds, races or religions you are from, we are absolutely together."

Ansun Zhong, owner of Chong’s Chinese restaurant in Christchurch City Central, said the shooting greatly affected people’s life in Christchurch.

"It makes people panic," Zhong said.

Huang Yan, the manager of the Christchurch branch of China’s Southern Airlines, told Xinhua the mass shooting would bring negative impact on New Zealand tourism as Christchurch has just been recovered from the aftermath of the 2011 deadly earthquake.
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Australian man in New Zealand’s Christchurch
mosque attacks charged with murder

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Xinhua) -- The 28-year old Australian man Brenton Tarrant who staged terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch was charged here with murder Saturday morning.

The terror attacks on Friday have left at least 49 people dead and 48 injured.

Tarrant was apprehended along with two other Australian men.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reiterated to the public on Saturday morning that New Zealand’s gun law would be changed in the wake of the terror attacks.

Five guns have been discovered, two of which are semi-automatic guns after the terror attacks.

Other weapons and firearms have also been retrieved by the police

It is understood that the killers has a legitimate gun license.

"Our gun law will be changed," said Ardern.

Three suspects are now in custody.

They are all Australian citizens, but not in any watch list of New Zealand or Australia.

A fourth arrest was not related to the killing and the person was then discharged.

Tarrant is charged with murder.

Two others are still in custody.

He live streamed the killing via social media.

Major public events during the weekend have all been cancelled across New Zealand.
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Major world social media remove shooting video of New Zealand terror attacks

SAN FRANCISCO (Xinhua) -- Major world social media including Facebook, Google and Twitter are working hard to take down posts containing graphic footage of terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Friday.

Gunmen staged the terrorist attacks on two mosques packed with worshipers attending Friday prayers in the South Island’s city, which killed 49 people and injured 48 others.

One of the shooters appeared to have live-streamed the attacks on Facebook that purportedly showed a gunman walking into a mosque and opening fire on the prayers.

The account of the shooter has now been removed from Facebook, and many other posts that had originally shared the footage have also disappeared from the platform.

Mia Garlick of Facebook’s New Zealand office said in a statement to American internet media BuzzFeed journalist Ryan Mac that the company is working to block the shooting video from spreading in the Facebook community.

"Since the attack happened, teams from across Facebook have been working around the clock to respond to reports and block content, proactively identify content which violates our standards," she said.

"We are adding each video we find to an internal database which enables us to detect and automatically remove copies of the videos when uploaded again," Garlick added.

Twitter also pulled down the original video and suspended the account that shared it on its platform, saying the user had violated its policies banning graphic, hate or terror content.

A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement released to media that it has "rigorous processes and a dedicated team in place for managing exigent and emergency situations such as this."

YouTube stated on its Twitter account that it was working vigilantly to suspend any violent footage.

"Our hearts are broken over today’s terrible tragedy in New Zealand.

"Please know we are working vigilantly to remove any violent footage," YouTube tweeted.

"Shocking, violent and graphic content has no place on our platforms, and is removed as soon as we become aware of it," said YouTube.
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New Zealand to change gun law after massive shooting in Christchurch

WELLINGTON New Zealand (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reiterated to the public on Saturday morning that the country’s gun law will be changed.

The move came after gunmen attacked two mosques in the country’s second largest city Christchurch and five guns were discovered, two of which are semi-automatic guns. Other weapons and firearms were also retrieved by the police.

It is understood that the killers of the terror attacks have legitimate gun license.

"Our gun law will be changed," the prime minister said.

So far three suspects are now in custody.

They are all Australian citizens, but not in any watch list of New Zealand or Australia.

A fourth arrest was not related to the killing and the person was then discharged.

A 28-year old man is due to appear on Christchurch District Court on Saturday morning.

The man has been charged with murder. Two others are still in custody.

It is reported that the man who has been charged with murder is named Brenton Tarrant.

He is an Australian National who live streamed the killing via social media.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel spoke to the public on Saturday morning, sending her condolences to the victims and their families and the people who are affected by the attacks.

"Our thoughts go to the victims and their families and everyone being affected," Dalziel said.

She also acknowledged the extraordinary response from the police and first responders.

"An attack on the Muslin community is an attack on us, on Christchurch and on New Zealand," Dalziel said.

The mayor believed that Christchurch would go through this together.

Major public events during the weekend have all been cancelled across New Zealand in the wake of the terror attacks.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others injured in the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.
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Uber driver expresses concerns over guns in
New Zealand following Christchurch attacks

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Xinhua) -- Uber driver Rogelio Junior in New Zealand's city of Christchurch Saturday described his narrow escape when he was dropping off a customer at Linwood Masjid Mosque as "very very lucky."

He told Xinhua that he parked in front of the mosque where the shooting rampage was happening. Hearing gunshots, he drove off instantly.

It was revealed that a 28-year-old Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, conducted terrorist attacks targeting mosques in Christchurch and later was arrested by New Zealand Police.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 are hospitalized now.

The news of arrest fails to comfort local residents because the puzzle of how the shooter got all those guns is haunting local residents.

"Imagine every time he shoots a shotgun, he drops it off and picks another gun, and shoots again," the Uber driver said with the horrifying images reappeared in his mind's eye.

In the wake of Friday's attack, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised in the press conference that gun laws would be changed in New Zealand, with a mooted ban on semi-automatic weapons.

She said Brenton Tarrant had legally owned five guns and allegedly used two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm to conduct the attacks.

Tarrant had a "category A" gun license that was legally obtained in November 2017.

Ardern revealed the preliminary evidence of modification in certain weapons.

The ability to modify firearms has long been the Achilles' heel in New Zealand's firearm laws, allowing license-holders to legally hold weapons akin to those used in the military.

Tarrant was said to have showed up on an Otago rifle club and practiced a military-style weapon shooting.

"While work is being done as to the chain of events that led to both the holding of this gun licence and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now.

"Our gun laws will change," Ardern said.

"We need to look at the modification of guns that can lead them to become essentially the kind of weapons that were used in this terrorist attack."

Earlier in March, frontline police in New Zealand's Canterbury region were asked to carry guns temporarily in response to the surge of gang related shootouts in the city.

Police showed 17 times a firearm was presented at a police officer in 2017 and there were four incidents of officers being shot at.

The police firearm routine was revoked days before the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Rogelio, the Uber driver, said the number of guns found in the Tarrant's car was still inexplicable.

As an Asian immigrant, Rogelio felt he was threatened by the allegedly anti-immigration attacks. "I was really lucky," he said, "When the shooter sees me, he probably takes no second to shoot me."
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 UPDATES:

White House "strongly condemns" mosque attacks in New Zealand

WASHINGTON United States (Xinhua) -- The White House said Friday it "strongly condemns" attacks in New Zealand, where mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch have left dozens dead.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

"We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate," she said.

President Donald Trump tweeted earlier that he extends his "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to the people of New Zealand after "the horrible massacre."

"The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do," the president added.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others were injured in mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday.

"This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said during a televised speech after the shootings, calling the incident a terrorist attack.
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United States cities tighten security at mosques
in light of New Zealand mass shootings

WASHINGTON United States (Xinhua) -- Several U.S. cities tightened security at their mosques on Friday in light of the mass shootings in New Zealand that have left dozens dead.

In Washington D.C., police said they have provided "an increased presence at the mosques" in the nation’s capital, adding that they are "not aware of any credible threats to the religious institutions" across the area.

"We urge our community to report any suspicious behavior to the proper authorities," the Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement posed on Twitter.

James P. O’Neill, commissioner of the New York City Police Department, said the agency "sees no New York City connection to the tragedy in New Zealand at this time" but stands "prepared to protect the people in all of our communities."

O’Neill said they are "increasing patrols and high-visibility counterterrorism presence at locations around the city."

The Los Angeles Police Department said it is monitoring "the horrific events" in New Zealand.

"While this attack appears to be an isolated incident with no nexus to LA, out of an abundance of caution we’re providing extra patrols around mosques," the police department said in a tweet.

In Chicago, police said "there are no known threats to the city," while "special attention will be given to Chicago mosques as a precaution."

The White House said earlier in the day that it "strongly condemns" attacks in New Zealand, where mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch have left 49 people dead and 48 others injured on Friday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

"We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate," she said.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted earlier that he extends his "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to the people of New Zealand after "the horrible massacre."

"The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do," the president added.
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United Nations Security Council condemns terrorist attacks in New Zealand

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Security Council on Friday condemned "in the strongest terms" the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 49 people.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the New Zealand government.

They wished a speedy and full recovery to those injured, said the council in a press statement.

The council members underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice, and urged all states to cooperate actively with the government of New Zealand and all other relevant authorities in this regard.

They reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and stressed the need for all states to combat by all means threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

Gunmen opened fire in two separate mosques in Christchurch on Friday, killing 49 people and wounding 48 others.
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International Islamic body condemns deadly
shootings at two mosques in New Zealand

RABAT Morocco (Xinhua) -- The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) strongly condemned the terrorist shootings at two mosques during the Friday prayer in New Zealand’s city of Christchurch.

"This heinous terrorist attack is a crime against humanity which reflects racist and extremist groups’ bitter hatred against Islam," ISESCO said, calling for "international condemnation of such act and punishment of its perpetrators."

The Islamic organization also appealed for solidarity with Muslims in New Zealand and expressed its confidence that New Zealand authorities will take the necessary measures to punish terrorists and protect mosques and Muslims on its territory.

The shootings on Friday claimed the lives of 49 people and injured dozens of others.
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Malaysia condemns shooting in New Zealand, two Malaysians among injured

KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia (Xinhua) -- The Malaysian government on Friday condemned the terror attacks in New Zealand’s Christchurch mosques.

"Malaysia condemns in the strongest term, this senseless act of terror on innocent civilians and hopes that those responsible for this barbaric crime be brought to justice.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of the shooting incident," Malaysia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that two Malaysians were injured in the terror attacks and are receiving treatment.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad joined other world leaders in offering sympathy for the victims, urging justice for them.

"I regret very much the incident occurring in Christchurch where 40 people were shot dead by gunmen in two mosques while they were performing Friday prayers.

"I hope that the New Zealand government will arrest these terrorists and do the necessary under the law of the country," he said in a brief statement.

New Zealand police have confirmed that 49 people were killed and 48 others injured in the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.
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Egypt strongly condemns deadly attacks in New Zealand mosques

CAIRO Egypt (Xinhua) -- Egypt strongly condemned on Friday the deadly attacks on two mosques in New Zealand that left at least 49 people dead, Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The heinous terrorist act contradicts with all humanity principles," the statement said.

The attack confirms the need for intensifying international efforts to fight terrorism and combating all forms of violence and extremism, the statement added.

Egypt expressed sincere condolences to the victims’ families, wishing a speedy recovery for the wounded, it said.

Egyptian Immigration Minister Nabila Makram has contacted the Embassy of Egypt in New Zealand to ensure safety of the Egyptian nationals in the country.

New Zealand’s Foreign Ministry has not yet confirmed whether Egyptian citizens were among the people killed in the attacks, official News Agency MENA reported.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit described the crime as shocking and horrible as it targeted innocent prayers in religious houses.

"Terrorism has no religion.

"The accident alarms the growing and severe trends of extremism," Aboul-Gheit said.

He called for stricter measures to be adopted by the international community.

Meanwhile, all Islamic state authorities have issued statement slamming the terrorist attacks.

Al-Azhar, the highest Islamic learning institution in Egypt, denounced the attacks as "a horrible terrorist accident," and called for exerting more efforts to support the values of tolerance and positive integration among different segments of any society regardless of their religions or cultures.

"Such terrorist attacks are prohibited by all heavenly religions’ principles and values," said Egypt’s Mufti Shawqi Allam, stressing the necessity of launching a plenary investigation.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others wounded in the attacks on two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch earlier on Friday.
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Canada condemns terrorist attacks on mosques
in New Zealand, police beef up security

OTTAWA Canada (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Friday condemned the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left at least 49 people dead.

"Canada condemns this attack, and will continue to work closely with New Zealand, our close partner and friend, and others to take action against violent extremism," Trudeau said in a statement.

New Zealand is enduring "one of the darkest days" in its history after the terrorist attacks on two mosques filled with worshippers attending Friday prayers left 49 people dead and 48 others injured.

"Hate has no place anywhere.

"We must all confront Islamophobia and work to create a world in which all people—no matter their faith, where they live, or where they were born-can feel safe and secure," Trudeau said.

Police forces across Canada are conducting heightened patrols near mosques and security agencies are trying to reassure Canadians after the terrorist attack in New Zealand, according to CBC.

Police services in Quebec City, which suffered from a mosque attack two years ago that killed six people, and in Montreal, Gatineau, Ottawa, Edmonton, Toronto, Saskatoon have all said they’re providing extra security near mosques, according to the report.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has "engaged and offered our full support - in any way needed - to our partners in New Zealand," said CSIS spokesperson Tahera Mufti.

"We are continually reassessing our operations and security measures we have in place to respond to the heightened global threat environment," said Mufti.

"Canadians can rest assured that there is a strong and layered approach to national security and that CSIS, along with our domestic and international partners, vigilantly monitor potential threats and have robust measures in place to address them," Mufti added.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale tweeted on Friday that Canada’s threat level remains unchanged at "medium," in the wake of the unprecedented terror attacks in New Zealand.

Canada’s national terrorism threat level has hovered at medium since October 2014 - meaning authorities believe a violent act of terrorism could happen in the near term.
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Chinese leaders send messages of condolence
to New Zealand over shooting incidents

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to New Zealand Governor-General Patsy Reddy on Friday over the deadly shooting incidents earlier Friday in New Zealand’s Christchurch City.

In his message, Xi said he was shocked to learn about the serious shooting incidents which have caused heavy casualties.

On behalf of the Chinese government, the Chinese people and in his own name, Xi expressed deep sympathy with and sincere condolences to the New Zealand government and the New Zealand people, while expressing grief for the victims and wishing the injured an early recovery.

Also on Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sent a message of condolence to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, expressing grief for the victims while extending sincere sympathies to the injured and the bereaved families.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin denounces New Zealand mosque attacks

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin called Friday’s attacks on civilians in two mosques of New Zealand’s Christchurch "shocking in its violence and cynicism."

In a condolence message to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Putin said he hopes that "every person involved in this crime will sustain a well-deserved punishment."

The president said that Russians share the grief of those who lost their loved ones and hope for a speedy recovery of the injured.

Moscow is shocked by the terrible crime in New Zealand and expresses deep sorrow and support for the country’s people, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a briefing.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others wounded in the attacks on two mosques of New Zealand’s Christchurch earlier in the day.
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Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg
condemns mass shootings in New Zealand

OSLO Norway (Xinhua) -- Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Friday condemned the deadly mass shootings in New Zealand and emphasized the importance of international work against extremism.

"This is a reminder that we have to fight extremism in all forms," Solberg told public broadcaster NRK.

"Even though this happened on the other side of the globe, it is a strong reminder of how important it is for all of us to help bring down tensions, work against extremism and have solidarity with each other when something like that happens," she said.

The prime minister expressed worry that the suspect posted a manifesto online in connection with the attack, which resembles the terror attack in Norway in 2011 that killed 77 people.

"Unfortunately, this gives rise to associations with a situation in Norway, which is some of the worst in our time.

"It shows that the international work against extremism is extremely important," Solberg said.

"But first and foremost, we are now mourning all those killed and wounded and, not least, have solidarity with their families," she said.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others injured in multiple shootings in two mosques of New Zealand’s Christchurch on Friday.

One of the shooters was identified as an Australian national, described as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist" by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
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Indian PM expresses shock, sadness over New Zealand attack

NEW DELHI India (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep shock and sadness at the loss of lives in attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, an official statement issued by Indian external affairs ministry said.

At least 49 persons were feared dead in shootings inside two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, said media reports.

In a letter addressed to his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern, Modi expressed his deepest condolences to the families bereaved in the attacks, offered prayers for the recovery of the injured and underscored India’s solidarity with the people of New Zealand at the difficult time.
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Portugal condemns New Zealand mosque attacks

LISBON Portugal (Xinhua) -- The Portuguese government strongly condemned on Friday the attacks that took place earlier on the day in New Zealand’s Christchurch city.

In a statement issued by the Portuguese Foreign Ministry, the Portuguese government expressed its deepest condolences to the family members of the victims and the government of New Zealand for this tragic event.

This is all the more astonishing because it occurred in a country with a strong tradition of tolerance, democracy and public peace, the statement said.

Portugal reiterated its firm condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and and their commitment to the pursuit of actions to prevent and combat all terrorist acts, the statement concluded.

Mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday has left at least 49 dead and 48 others injured.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern considered the attack as the worst ever in the history of her country.
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Indonesia slams mass shootings in New Zealand mosques

JAKARTA Indonesia (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian government on Friday slammed the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which two Indonesian nationals were injured, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said.

The Indonesian vice president also prayed for the the victims of the brutality on Friday afternoon.

New Zealand police have confirmed that 49 people were killed and 48 others injured in the mass shootings.

"We condemn the attacks, the perpetrators," he said.

An Indonesian man and his son were among the targets of the shooting, spokesman of the Indonesian foreign ministry Arrmanatha Nasir said.

The man has been treated at an intensive care unit of a Christchurch hospital while his son also got a medical treatment, the spokesman said.

According to New Zealand police, four suspects have been arrested so far.
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Cambodia denounces fatal shootings in New Zealand mosques

PHNOM PENH Cambodia (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Friday denounced the fatal shootings in New Zealand mosques, that left at least 49 people dead, said a foreign ministry’s statement.

Cambodia was shocked and saddened by the fatal shootings, the statement said.

"We express our most profound sympathy and condolences to the victims and their beloved ones," it said.

"We stand in solidarity with the government and people of New Zealand at this tragic moment to give utmost assurance for safety of innocent people, both New Zealanders and members of Cambodia community across New Zealand."

"We once again reiterate our unwavering commitment to the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," the statement added.

The statement came after multiple shootings in two mosques of New Zealand’s Christchurch on Friday, which killed 49 people and left 48 others wounded.

According to the police, four suspects have been arrested so far.
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Irish leaders condemn New Zealand mosque attacks

DUBLIN (Xinhua) -- Irish President Michael D. Higgins on Friday issued a statement condemning the deadly attacks on two mosques in New Zealand.

"The attacks on mosques in New Zealand will have appalled people all over the world," Higgins said in the statement.

The Irish president offered the sympathy of the people of Ireland to the families of the victims and expressed the solidarity of the people of Ireland with the people of New Zealand.

"This attack on innocent lives at spaces of worship for a religious community will be condemned by all those who believe in freedom and democratic values," he said, adding that he has conveyed deepest sympathies on behalf of the Irish people to New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Governor-General Patsy Reddy.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney also condemned the attacks and conveyed his sympathies to the people of New Zealand on behalf of the Irish government as the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is currently on a visit in the United States.

"I unreservedly condemn the terrorist attacks which took place in Christchurch, New Zealand today.

"There can be no justification for acts of violence and discrimination based on religion or beliefs," said Coveney said in a statement.

Earlier on Friday, gunmen opened fire at two separate mosques in Christchurch, killing 49 people and wounding 48 others.
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Greece expresses solidarity with people of New Zealand over mosque attacks

ATHENS Greece (Xinhua) -- Greece expressed solidarity with the people of New Zealand on Friday over the mosque attacks that took at least 49 lives, according to the latest official count.

Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos conveyed through Greece’s ambassador to Canberra his horror for the hideous act of blind violence and religious hatred against innocent citizens, sending his condolences to the families of the victims and wishing the quick recovery of the injured, according to an e-mailed press release.

Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also expressed solidarity with the people of New Zealand.

"We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand.

"It is our duty to stand for tolerance and religious freedom and raise our voices against far-right extremism and racist hatred," Tsipras posted on his social media accounts.
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Sri Lankan Prime Minister offers condolences over New Zealand shootings

COLOMBO Sri Lanka (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday offered his deepest condolences to the government and people of New Zealand following the multiple shootings in Christchurch, which left 49 people dead and 48 others injured.

In a statement, Wickremesinghe said New Zealand is a country with a strong history of peace, multiculturalism and tolerance and there was no doubt that its people will not allow this incident to undermine those values.

In the wake of the heinous attacks, Wickremesinghe said he also offered his support to New Zealand.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the incident was one of New Zealand’s darkest days.
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French president denounces "odious crimes" against mosques in New Zealand

PARIS France (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday denounced the deadly shootings that targeted worshippers in two mosques in New Zealand, reaffirming his determination to join the fight against terrorism across the globe.

"All of our thoughts go out to the victims of these odious crimes against Christchurch’s mosques in New Zealand, as well as their families," Macron wrote on Twitter.

"France stands against all forms of extremism and is working with its partners to fight against terrorism around the world," he said.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others were wounded after two gunmen opened fire on worshippers during Friday prayers in central Christchurch.

Three suspects were detained and remained in police custody.

One of them, a 28-year-old Australian man, has been charged with murder and will appear in court on Saturday, media reports quoted New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush as saying.

In a statement, French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian expressed condolences to the victims of Friday’s attacks, which he described as an "ordeal."

Le Drian stressed that the assault "strengthens our shared determination to combat terrorism all over the world."

In solidarity with the victims, the Eiffel Tower of Paris will go dark on Friday evening, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Twitter.
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France beefs up security near religious sites
after New Zealand shootings: minister

PARIS France (Xinhua) -- France stepped up security measures near religious sites in the wake of fatal attacks against two mosques in New Zealand where 49 people died, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced on Friday.

"As a precaution (measure), I immediately called our prefects to (show) the utmost vigilance and asked them to strengthen the surveillance in worship places in our country," Castaner said.

"Patrols will be held around religious sites," he added on his Twitter account.

The minister’s decision came after what he described an "odious terrorist attacks" targeting two separate mosques full of prayers in central Christchurch during the afternoon praying time.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others were wounded in the mass shootings in which at least two gunmen were involved.

One of the shooter was identified as an Australian national, described as "an extremist" and violent-right wing activist according to Australian authorities.

"What happened in New Zealand must not happen in France.

"The French state must take its responsibilities towards the Muslim community and ensure the protection of all French citizens," tweeted the Committee against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a Muslim rights group.

France is home of about 5 million Muslims, Europe’s largest Islamic community.
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Pakistan condemns terrorist attack at mosques in New Zealand

ISLAMABAD Pakistan (Xinhua) -- The Pakistani government and its leadership condemned the terrorist attack in two separate mosques in Christchurch city of New Zealand on Friday, which killed 49 people and injured more than 40 others.

Spokesperson of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Faisal released a statement at Twitter, saying "Pakistan condemns the tragic terrorist incident in New Zealand.

"Our High Commission is in touch with the local authorities and trying to ascertain details."

Pakistani President Arif Alvi said in a statement that he was shocked and grieved to learn about the horrific massacre in Christchurch mosques, adding that "hate, once unleashed is difficult to stop."

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed grieve and strongly condemned the attack, saying "this reaffirms what we have always maintained that terrorism does not have a religion."

According to local media reports, over 5,000 overseas Pakistanis are living in New Zealand but there is no report yet on Pakistani casualties in the attack.
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemns New Zealand mass shootings

TOKYO Japan (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday sent a message of condolences to his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern, condemning shootings at mosques in New Zealand earlier in the day, local media reported.

In his message, Abe described the shootings as a "despicable terrorist act" and said that they should never be tolerated.

"Terrorism should never be tolerated for any reason. Japan is determined to resolutely fight terrorism together with New Zealand as well as the international community," he said in the message.

Abe also expressed condolences and sympathy to the people of New Zealand that have been affected by the shootings.

At least 49 people were killed and 48 others wounded in multiple attacks on two mosques of New Zealand’s Christchurch on Friday.
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SEE ALSO:

Death tolls from Christchurch mosques attacks has risen to 49

             

 

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